EMPLOYMENT LAW – HARASSMENT – MAINE
Maine Sexual Harassment Training
Syntrio’s Maine online sexual harassment training courses exceed the Maine anti-harassment training requirements that have been in place since they were enacted in 1991 by the Maine state legislature. The Maine Human Rights Commission (“MHRC”) enforces the Maine sexual harassment training requirements, and the law requires nearly every employee in the state to receive training on the prevention of sexual harassment.
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Maine Harassment Training
As the first state to enact a law requiring sexual harassment in workplace prevention training, Maine has been a leader in sexual harassment laws and a pioneer in the field of sexual harassment policy. By enacting the ME sexual harassment training requirements in 1991, Maine became the first state to require sexual harassment in workplace harassment training. As one of [relatively] few states with mandatory harassment training requirements, Maine’s anti-harassment law is one of the strictest in the United States. Except for the smallest employers, the state now requires almost all employers to provide sexual harassment at the workplace training to their entire workforce (absent some limited exceptions).
To understand how to comply with Maine sexual harassment training requirements, as well as other sexual harassment policy requirements in place, it is first necessary to understand federal sexual harassment law and federal anti-discrimination law, as well as the role the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) sexual harassment interpretations (as well as MHRC opinions), play in formulating a plan to comply with Maine sexual harassment prevention training obligations. Many employees in Maine who feel they have been sexually harassed file their claim with the EEOC, and it is that organization that often determines whether to file a lawsuit on behalf of an individual who claims they were sexually harassed or subjected to hostile environment sexual harassment or quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Syntrio’s Maine US Workplace Harassment Training (5th Edition)
- Experienced: Developing workplace harassment training since 2002.
- Compliant: Complies with all relevant Maine regulatory requirements.
- Engaging: Engages learners with short, live-action stories and practical exercises.
- Comprehensive: Addresses all required topics plus contemporary issues – workplace relationships, bystander intervention, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Flexibility: Versions for managers (55 min.) and non-managers (50 min.); other versions that incorporate California with additional state training for easier deployment for multi-state businesses.
- Industries: Six industry verticals, including office/general, healthcare, industrial, hospitality, retail, and higher education.
Federal Sexual Harassment Law
Federal anti-discrimination laws encompass the federal sexual harassment law, from which state and local sexual harassment requirements and mandatory sexual harassment training laws have evolved. These federal laws are also the set of statutes from the United States EEOC sexual harassment policy on enforcement are derived from. In states such as Maine, where sexual harassment and job discrimination charges are commonly filed administratively with the EEOC before going to court, the agency and its guidance play a pivotal role in anti-discrimination and anti-harassment litigation. The federal anti-discrimination laws prohibit employment discrimination, sexual harassment in the workplace, and other forms of workplace harassment and set the floor from which state and local laws can enact greater protections against job discrimination and workplace harassment.
The most notable federal employment law covering discrimination and harassment in the workplace is Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964, which covers employers who employ or have employed 15 or more employees for each working day in 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year. In addition to prohibiting employment discrimination, courts have held that Title VII prohibits harassment in the workplace, sexual harassment in the workplace, hostile environment sexual harassment, and other forms of employment discrimination and workplace harassment, which in recent years has become a key focus of attention on federal anti-discrimination laws and other related employment laws (including an increased focus on mandatory training).
Under the federal employment law scheme, harassment in the workplace is a form of job discrimination that occurs when unwelcome conduct (such as verbal sexual harassment or physical sexual harassment) that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, age (over 40), disability occurs. Harassment in the workplace becomes illegal where: a) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or b) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile or intimidating work environment that a reasonable person would consider hostile or abusive.
As important as learning what workplace harassment is, it is also essential to understand that workplace harassment (including sexual harassment at work) does not include petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents. Unless severe, such trial verbal sexual comments or other offensive behavior may not rise to the level of illegal harassment in the workplace.
Maine Sexual Harassment Law
Maine has a reputation for its employee-favorable employment laws. While many individuals who claim to be victims of sexual harassment file their claim in federal court, many sexual harassment claims are brought under the Maine Human Rights Act, which is codified in sections 4551-4634 of Chapter 337 of Title 5 of the Maine Revised Statutes. The Maine Human Rights Act is the substantive body of law in the state that prohibits employment discrimination and all forms of harassment in the workplace.
Section 807 of Chapter 7 of Title 26 of the Maine Revised Statutes is the portion of the Maine Labor Code that requires all Maine employers with 15 or more employees to conduct sexual harassment in workplace training. That section of the ME sexual harassment law gives the MHRC the exclusive power to enact ME sexual harassment training obligations, and the law sets forth the Maine sexual harassment training requirements that are currently in force.
Maine Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
Under the Maine sexual harassment training law, Maine employers face significant sexual harassment training obligations in the state. The following is a summary of Maine’s sexual harassment training requirements:
EMPLOYMENT LAW: HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION COURSE
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Meal & Rest Break Training
Understanding the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Wage & Hour Basics
Avoiding Wrongful Termination
Employment Discrimination: Maintaining a Fair Workplace
Employment Discrimination: Sex
Employment Discrimination: Race, Color, and National Origin
Employment Discrimination: Religion
Employment Discrimination: Age
Employment Discrimination: Disability
Employment Discrimination: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Creating a Bully-Free Workplace
DISCRIMINATION ETHICAL SNAPSHOTS
The Job Interview
Up or Out
An Open Position
US Workplace Harassment 5th Edition
Bystander Awareness and Intervention for Chicago
Preventing and Addressing Sexual Harassment
Preventing Sexual Harassment
Preventing Workplace Harassment
Workplace Harassment and Bullying: Managing Threats to a Respectful Work Culture
California Preventing Workplace Harassment
Connecticut Sexual Harassment Training for Employees
Delaware Preventing Sexual Harassment
Illinois Preventing Sexual Workplace Harassment
Maine Preventing Sexual Harassment
New York Preventing Sexual Harassment
Campus Aware: Sexual Violence Prevention
Harassment: Ensuring a Respectful Workplace
Preventing Unlawful Harassment for Colleges and Universities
Preventing Unlawful Workplace Harassment for Federal Agencies
Multi-Jurisdiction Preventing Workplace Harassment
Canada Harassment and Violence at Work
US Workplace Harassment - Chicago
SPEAK UP ETHICAL SNAP SHOTS
Speak Up - Feeling Uncomfortable A
Speak Up - Feeling Uncomfortable B
Speak Up - Harassment A
Speak Up - Harassment B
Speak Up - Health and Safety
Speak Up - Offensive Remark A
Speak Up - Offensive Remark B
Speak Up - Something Missing
HARASSMENT ETHICAL SNAPSHOTS
The Viral Email
Jack and Dani Went Up a Hill
Making a Complaint
Making a Complaint 2
An Open Position
A Very Important Client
A Very Important Client (B)
A Very Important Client (C)
Too Close for Comfort (A)
Too Close for Comfort (B)
Legal Aspects of Interviewing and Hiring
Preventing Unlawful Retaliation in the Workplace
RETALIATION ETHICAL SNAPSHOTS
Rocking the Boat
Managing Substance Abuse in the Workplace
What Type of Organization Must provide Maine Sexual Harassment Training
Under ME sexual harassment training requirements, all public and private organizations with 15 or more employees must provide training within one year of hire or commencement. Additional training (including manager-specific elements) must be conducted within one year of assuming a supervisory position.
What Segments of the Maine Workforce Must Receive Training under the ME Sexual Harassment Training Requirements?
The Maine sexual harassment training law does not specify what individuals working for an organization other than “employees” (defined as “any individual employed by an employer”) must receive the training. Due to the vague nature of the Maine sexual harassment training requirements definition of specific terms, it is essential to consult Maine employment counsel to determine the best way to provide Maine online sexual harassment training.
How Frequently Must Maine Sexual Harassment Training be Conducted?
Maine does not have a re-training requirement in its anti-harassment law. However, you must re-train your workforce regularly to keep current with changes in the law and/or your organizational policy.
Should Employers Provide Maine Sexual Harassment Training to Employees Working Outside the State?
Possibly. The MHRC has not specifically issued an opinion on this, and the Maine definition of “employed” does not provide further clarity. To ensure compliance with the Maine sexual harassment training requirements, those who work or will work in ME may need to receive sexual harassment in the workplace training. As a matter of best practice, even those employees based outside of Maine who will interact with a Maine-based employee or spend a portion of time working there should receive Maine sexual harassment training to maintain organizational continuity.
What Content is Necessary to Comply with Maine Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements?
The ME harassment training law requires employers to provide annual written notice to employees, including a description of sexual harassment and the protections against it. The written notice must contain the following information (that by proxy must be contained in the initial required sexual harassment training course):
- Notice of the illegality of sexual harassment and retaliation, including a definition of the terms under state law;
- A description of sexual harassment, using examples;
- An explanation of the legal recourse and complaint process, as well as how to contact the MHRC;
- Information on the employer’s internal complaint process; and
- Supervisors must receive additional training on the specific responsibilities associated with that role and steps that must be taken to ensure immediate and corrective action in addressing complaints of sexual harassment.
US Mandatory Harassment Training
STATE-MANDATED TRAINING LAWS
Several states have enacted mandatory training laws that require employers to provide sexual harassment training to their managers and employees.
Click on each state to learn more about Syntrio’s sexual harassment training products dedicated to exceeding compliance with mandatory training laws in each state. You will also learn about the requirements in that particular jurisdiction.
- New York
Does Syntrio’s Online Maine Sexual Harassment Training Comply with the Maine Sexual Harassment Training Requirements?
Yes. Syntrio’s sexual harassment courseware exceeds the requirements set forth by the Maine sexual harassment training law.
What Records Must be Kept Following Completion of ME sexual harassment prevention training?
Maine employers must keep a record of the training. The record must include the names of employees, be kept for at least three years, and be available to the Maine Department of Labor upon request.
What are the Potential Penalties for Failing to Comply with the Maine Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements?
Under ME sexual harassment law, the Maine Department of Labor can assess fines for noncompliance with the training law. The fine schedule is as follows:
- First violation: fine of $1,000
- Second violation: fine of $2,500
- Third or subsequent violation: fine of $5,000
Why Syntrio’s Sexual Harassment Training is Your Best Source of Compliance with Sexual Harassment Prevention in Maine
Syntrio has led online sexual harassment training for over 20 years.
Since its inception in the workplace sexual harassment training market over 20 years ago, Syntrio has been aware that it needs to be different to help employers not only comply with Maine sexual harassment training requirements but also to help employers empower their workforce to speak up and make an actual difference in workplace culture. The first anti-harassment training laws were enacted in ME and CT in the early 1990s when Syntrio began developing content intended to assist employers in educating their workforces on employment law, workplace harassment, and employment discrimination. As the 2010s ended, more states enacted (and expanded upon) sexual harassment training laws. Syntrio’s sexual harassment training remains the sexual harassment prevention training relied upon by lawyers and HR professionals seeking training that will truly make a difference.
The Syntrio approach to Maine Sexual Harassment Prevention Training is Different.
While the drive to provide sexual harassment training remains unchanged, expert views on the type and focus of sexual harassment training in workplace training have evolved. Many of Syntrio’s competitors continue to provide “check the box” sexual harassment prevention training in ME (and elsewhere) that was primarily developed more than five years ago. These older harassment training programs are often aimed at combating the harmful effects of workplace sexual harassment on the organization rather than on the person making the complaint. When anti-harassment training focuses on illegal sexual harassment and job discrimination and how companies can avoid liability rather than actual incident prevention and improve workplace culture, employees are proven more likely to tune out during the session. Syntrio knows legalistic, compliance-focused training does not resonate with employees and has instead developed sexual harassment prevention training that works.
The solutions that help to improve workplace culture and help reduce the number of incidents of workplace harassment involve incorporating elements of a full-scale program of civility and respect training and any other number of employee-focused employment law training that time and budget will allow improving organizational culture. Syntrio understands the time and budgetary constraints and therefore builds in elements of its more extensive library to its sexual harassment prevention training to give the learner something they can use for their benefit (and mental and physical well-being).
Syntrio knows that in a crowded market is essential to provide training that does more than comply with Maine sexual harassment training requirements. As decision-makers, you also must make clear to your workforce that you care about their well-being. Therefore, a speak up and listen up program aimed at empowering your workforce to report incidents is a critical aspect of any ME sexual harassment training program and is an essential aspect of a cultural improvement plan. Additionally, employers must provide training that teaches employees to respect one another and demonstrates the organization’s respect for its workforce. In addition to understanding what illegal sexual harassment is, employees must understand one another’s sensitivities and the organization’s understanding that everyone has individual needs. Syntrio’s Maine sexual harassment prevention training meets all these lofty goals in a concise package.
Get Started and Try Syntrio Harassment Training Courses
The pillars of our sexual harassment in the workplace training program involve the following:
Workplace Civility & Respect Training
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training
Employment Discrimination and Workplace Fairness Training
Maine Sexual Harassment Training
Speak Up and Listen Up Training
Maine sexual harassment training should not occur just once every year. Instead, it should be a consistent program that demonstrates the organization’s commitment to the health and safety of its employees. By providing training that goes beyond the legal requirements that may be present in a state (or municipality), the organization can show its workforce that it not only cares that they do not face liability for an incident but are committed to improving workplace culture and respecting the loyalty, its workforce has shown by respecting and caring for the well-being of everyone working within the organization.